I realise that we can’t have profoundly interesting and meaningful conversations all the time. It’s not possible. You can’t bump into a friend and say ‘Hi Chris, isn’t the theory of relativity brilliant?’, or have a good old natter about nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies over a cup of tea and a sticky bun – but recently I have noticed that, in general, people don’t really say anything.
During my current temporary contracting work at the NHS, I overheard the following conversation between two girls in the office:
Girl 1: Hi, you okay?
Girl 2: Yeah good, you okay?
Girl 1: Yeah, you?
Girl 2: Yeah thanks, you all right?
Girl 1: Yeah cool, you?
Girl 2: Fine, yeah, how are you?
Girl 1: Yeah, good thanks, how’s it going?
Girl 2: Yeah, really well, thanks.
Girl 1: Great.
Girl 1 then left, obviously exhausted by the weight of establishing that they were both fine. It was a conversation by two people who have nothing to say to each other because secretly they despise the other’s face.
Two women on the train yesterday had a particularly pointless conversation about something indecipherable:
Woman 1: I mean, you know, it’s just, kind of, I don’t know.
Woman 2: Oh, I know.
Woman 1: I suppose it’s just, you know.
Woman 2: Yeah, totally, that’s right.
Woman 1: I’m not sure why but, I mean, I can’t, kind of, not really.
Woman 2: Oh no, of course, I mean, you know, you can’t.
Woman 1: No. I just can’t, it’s just, things, it’s like, I dunno.
Woman 2: Yep.
What was the point in that?
You’d think I’d be desperate to know what it was the first woman couldn’t do. I wasn’t. It was such a pointless conversation it peeved me, and I may even have rolled my eyes in a my-conversations-have-so-much-more-point-than-yours kind of way. I mean, you know.